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Story & Clark Pianos

Story & Clark Piano History

Now known almost exclusively for their player pianos, Story & Clark began as a music store when Hampton L. Story opened shop in Burlington, VT, in 1859. By 1862, Story entered a partnership to become Story & Powers Co. and began selling contemporary piano brands. [1]

Moving to Chicago, Ill, Story entered a new partnership to become Story & Camp for a nearly 20 years. Advertisements can be found featuring pianos they sold in Chicago with this short-lived company name.

Entering into the reed organ business, Story partnered with Melville Clark to become Story & Clark in 1884. With much success, factories opened in London and Berlin to support Story & Clark’s organ manufacturing, which soon led to piano production in the late 1890s.

Some of the earliest piano style names were Irvington, Storygrand, Tennyson and Story-Tone. A series of company sellouts ended in 1993 when QRS Music Rolls, Inc. purchased Story & Clark. 

Story & Clark Piano Characteristics

Now most prominently known for their middle-tier upright pianos, Story & Clark pianos are often purchased for player piano purposes. With built-in optical sensors and USB/MIDI technology, all Story & Clark pianos come standard with player piano capability.

Melville Clark made the player piano technology possible when he invented a way to record piano rolls from live concerts. Marketed as the Marking Piano, in 1912, this enabled the preservation and playback of certain famous performances. [2]

Also known for their digital piano, Story & Clark markets all of their pianos as preserving an acoustic look and feel with the digital piano technology. This appeals to many customers who wish to connect their personal devices and computers to their piano while having a classic-looking piano in the room.

Restoring Older Story & Clark Pianos

While many Story & Clark pianos found today are newer and not in need of restoration, the early 20th century and late 1800 models can range in value from $500-1,000 unrestored. At Lindeblad, we consider the historical significance of each feature and detail to determine the best treatment for updates, repair and restoration. In doing so, we can help increase the value of a Story & Clark piano. For these older models, the restored value can reach up to $20,000.

Call us today for a quote on repairing or restoring your Story & Clark piano.

References: 

[1] Pierce, W. Robert. Pierce Piano Atlas: Anniversary Edition, 2017 Our 70th Year. Albuquerque: Ashley, 2017. Print.

[2] http://www.qrsmusic.com/sc/history.asp